Google Reader Receives Update – Adds Google+ & New Design [News]

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Google Reader Receives Update - Adds Google+ & New Design [News] readerlogoIt feels like it has been a long time, but Google finally updated their popular RSS reader with a new look and some minor new features. The first and most obvious change is the overall look of the app. The basic functionality behind it all is the same, but I have to say that the new look is a lot nicer, and it feels a lot cleaner than the old one. The left side of the screen, where all the feeds are listed, has the same basic layout as the old version, but they have changed the colors and font size. In the end, these changes are strictly cosmetic. It is the next change that seems to have split the Google Reader community down the middle.

Along with making things look prettier, Google has implemented Google+ into Google Reader. The problem with this is that they took away the old way of sharing, so Google+ is now your only option. I understand this is a Google product, and they want to tie it in with their other Google products, but this change seems to be upsetting a lot of people.

Google Reader Receives Update - Adds Google+ & New Design [News] reader

It seems like Google knew they were going to upset some users. On their blog they even said, “We hope you’ll like the new Reader (and Google+) as much as we do, but we understand that some of you may not.” It seems they knew they were going to make a lot of users angry. I have to actually applaud them for making a tough decision and sticking with it.

Google Reader Receives Update - Adds Google+ & New Design [News] 1reader

Let us know what you think of the new Reader design. Do you approve of the sharing changes or not?

Source: Google Reader Blog

Explore more about: Google, Google Plus, Google Reader.

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  1. Michael Moses
    October 17, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    My name is Michael Moses, living in Namibia. I don't have anything, but want s to help the needy and disadvantage, any person's donations are more than welcome. Salute.

  2. Shaun
    November 8, 2011 at 2:52 am

    Some functions are missing, and I can't see some of the subscription names. I use Opera browser.
    But I have no switch back option.

    • Tina
      November 12, 2011 at 6:57 pm

      Thanks for the feedback, Shaun!

  3. Steven Dunn
    November 3, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    The white space is easy enough to fix using stylish plugin for firefox but would I really would like is for makeuseof to do an article on ways to quickly create an rss feed entry from a web page like Note in Reader used to do.  The best thing I've come up with so far is to create a Blogger account and use the ScribeFire firefox plugin to create the entry from text snipits etc similar to what I need.  Then I can take the rss feed from blogger and subscribe to it in reader.  I'm sure someone must have an easier way.

  4. Michael Bacon
    November 2, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    Sharing changes = very upsetting. I loved the old way and I have zero reason to use the new way. Google+ is trash, and the new reader update just makes me even less happy with the existence of Google+.

  5. Joey Blowey
    November 2, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    TOO MUCH WHITE!   YUCK!!!!!!!!

  6. Anna Ladoshkina (f)
    November 2, 2011 at 7:38 am

    I've been using Google Reader for ages but after this "new look" I found myself looking for alternative... (unfortunately there actualy aren't any)...

    The most part of the screen is lost with all this huge bars and panels so the actual reading space reduced significantly... with higher rows for each items (in list view) there is much less number of titles visible on the screen - difficult to scan when choosing an item... the only colorfull thing on the screen is subscribe button which I used very rarely (practically never)...

    I used to rely on my shared items feed as a source of valuable information I've marked for myself,  but now everything is lost... so general experience after this changes is simply awful

  7. Thosh
    November 2, 2011 at 6:29 am

    taking away the next & previous buttons have made the new design slow and cumbersome,  not at all a pleasant experience

  8. Jim Witherspoon
    November 2, 2011 at 6:24 am

    MakeUseOf editors, please tell us how we can use the JSON files exported by Google Reader ... I have a lot of articles saved in my "shared items" which are now accessible only in those JSON files.

  9. Falco
    November 2, 2011 at 6:06 am

    Way to much white space,use flux at night to dampen all the white. Am now working up Opera reader. Rssowl & Feed Demon sync with Google Reader! Sorry Google Reader but it's time for me to change things up a bit.  

    • Dave LeClair
      November 2, 2011 at 1:02 pm

      Seems like a lot of readers agree with you. Google needs to take a look at this and realize they are making a lot of their users upset, and that is never a good thing.

  10. Anubisxian
    November 2, 2011 at 5:08 am

    I don't like the new design direction whatsoever. It's obviously aimed at touchscreen devices, which accounts for the large amount of wasted space for each line item. GMail is heading in the same direction, I'm afraid. Hopefully someone will author an extension to allow us to revert the UI back to something useful.

    What concerns me more however is the “We hope you’ll like the new Reader (and Google+) as much as we do, but we understand that some of you may not.” attitude, which is realy just a nice way of saying, we're changing Reader, there's nothing you can do about it; if you don't like it, go pound sand. For a second I thought I was on Facebook.

    I question the author's applause of Google's making a "tough decision and sticking with it". Applause like that ought to be reserved for tough decisions that are in everyone's BEST interests, not just the current whim of a design team.

  11. Anomaly
    November 2, 2011 at 2:54 am

    I have to wonder what the author was smoking when this article was written. I don't see how anyone in their right mind can find the new look of Google Reader anything but absolutely disgusting. The assholes who designed  the new look should be banned for life from working on anything similar again.

    As for removing the sharing features this is Google's attempt at forcing you to use their Google+ crap. All it did was force me to start the process of dumping all things Google. Google is getting arrogant and very douche bagish and need to take a nice fall a do a face plant.

    The only positive thing coming out of this is that the negative feedback has been large. Hopefully this opens a door for a competitor to come out with an alternative and everybody jumps ship. It will look good on Google.

  12. Jan Scholl
    November 2, 2011 at 1:44 am

    An update is fine but with no possibilities of personalizing, I am actively looking for another RSS feeder. I can't have that much white. It physically hurts my eyes. Since I work late at night and keep other lighting down, I find myself wincing. I have twice dumped my Reader contents today because I just can't handle the eye strain.  I have 5 people in my Google + account and it is for personal family only at this point. There are things I have to share with them I don't want anyone on FB to see. But no one on Google plus with me cares about my Vegan recipes. So I won't be sharing either.  Sad as I have used REader since its inception.

  13. Anonymous
    November 1, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    The new layout can F off! Let me be in control of the appearance you damn jerks.

    • Dave LeClair
      November 2, 2011 at 1:01 pm

      Haha, well put!

  14. ravenclawwit
    November 1, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    I have to say I'm pretty disappointed in it. I liked the sharing features and Google+ just does not interest me. None of the people I shared with before really use it, so it's useless for me. I don't mind the new look, but as others have said, it seems as if it has degraded performance. The app is not as snappy as it was before the update.

    The problem with Google is that they already had a social network through Reader. They just didn't realize it in their quest to make some sort of Facebook clone. I hate to break it to them but Google+ is not going to happen. Facebook is already starting to reach a saturation point. The number of users interested in signing up for and actually using a complex social network is a finite number. And all of those people have already signed up for Facebook. They have no compelling reason to either switch social networks (and take the chance that most of their friends and contacts will stick with Facebook) or to add another one. In this case, the one that got there first (Facebook) wins by default.

    • Dave LeClair
      November 2, 2011 at 1:01 pm

      Very good points. Seems like Google thinks that because they are Google anything they touch turns to gold, including Google+ and ugly updates to Google Reader. Guess they will learn a lesson the hard way.

  15. Pejays
    November 1, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Another vote AGAINST the new interface. With such a distance between entries there is much more scrolling. How's that better?
    Next, previously I was able to do a search, say, in the "Books" group by just starting to type "books" on the button. Gone, now I have to use the dropdown menu. One option deleted. How's that better?
    Change is good ...sometimes, but if it to make something better, not just to make it prettier, which is something that depends on who's looking, period. I DO NOT like the new look. Change, per se, is silly.
    In short, I can't find anything to like in the new interface, and hope nobody in Google gets the brilliant idea of changing Gmail too! PLEASE don't touch it!

  16. Steve
    November 1, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    @David: Thanks for the FeedDemon tip... I'm going to check it out. The new Google Reader is an example of horrible design. If you're using a feed reader you're not interested in style -- you want to view loads of content quickly. The old GR was good for that; the new GR is too much fluff.

  17. Jim
    November 1, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Hate the new Google look.  Too much white space, too little color.  Color is good!  I miss the "My Stuff" folders in the left-side navigation bar.  Easier sharing to Google+ is good.

    • Mervyn van Kuyen
      December 14, 2011 at 5:32 am

      there is a way to still get my stuff
      the way i found it was by clicking on my own name in a shared google maps item (shared from android, which still has my stuff)

      hope you find it

  18. Ardsmeuk
    November 1, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    what happened to the density setting in Reader? Like all the other new-look Google apps do have it? Can;t find it. shame.  Anyone?

  19. NewGoogleReaderSucks
    November 1, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    It's an absolute waste of space. Google Reader is supposed to be for reading, not staring at white space. So, even if the redesign has some "artistic merit" it absolutely misses the mark in terms of increasing usability (for its intended use that is).

  20. Rcavina
    November 1, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    I do not like at all

  21. Elda
    November 1, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    I don't like this at all.  I used to share certain posts from Google Reader which would then display on our intranet through a Sharepoint RSS View Feed.  This is the url I used to use to do this.

    Is there a work around for this, with the new Google+ ? Any help would be most appreciated.  Tx. 

    • Dave LeClair
      November 2, 2011 at 12:34 pm

      At this point it doesn't look like there is a workaround, sadly.

  22. Johan Klos
    November 1, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    I'm missing the sharing as I shared (links to) interesting articles to my twitter account using share-twitterfeed. Handy through my iphone as well, can't be done anymore.
    I'm also not fond of unnecessary use of wide spacing, just adds to the scrolling, imo, they should allow for letting the user decide how wide that spacing should be.
    So yeah, not too happy.

  23. Phshbone
    November 1, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    I much white...maybe they can add colors like the calendar and we can tweak to our scopes.

    • Phshbone
      November 1, 2011 at 8:33 pm


  24. David
    November 1, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    I`ve been a Google Reader user for ages now, but after 10mins with the new interface I was looking for something else. As previously mentioned, the look isn`t great. Its also sluggish now and not as fast as before. Luckily, FeedDemon syncs with Google Reader and seems to offer a much better way to view feeds, so all is not lost.

    Shame about Google Reader though. I`m all for changes and I accept I can`t like them all. I agree about a switch back option, would have been nice to be able roll back to the previous interface. Pity.

    • Dave LeClair
      November 2, 2011 at 12:32 pm

      Maybe they will see the complaints from users and make a change to the look.

    • Philharmania
      November 3, 2011 at 2:40 am

      Besides FeedDemon, opensource reader RSSOwl also support GR sync in its latest release.

  25. mArS
    November 1, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    It's too white! Makes me give up on it

  26. Peter
    November 1, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    The sharing changes I can mostly agree with - I wasn't a power user of the sharing before. I really don't like the new interface, though. Too much white space, too little color. I can only hope that some devs will be able to give us back an interface that takes away the white space and gives us back some of the customizations we have now.  I just don't care much for the whole black & white interface and miss the extensions that worked to color-code the RSS articles by feed. At the very least, Google should have offered a "switch back" option of some sort.  At best, they should have run this by the heavier users of Google Reader before releasing it to everyone. Just making an arbitrary change without feedback from the end users tends to backfire. If they wanted to convert people into Google+ users, they probably just achieved the opposite of the intended effect. :(

    • Dave LeClair
      November 2, 2011 at 12:32 pm

      This is a good point, if the idea was to use Google Reader to segue people into using Google+, than chasing them away from Reader with an update they themselves said people might not like. Seems like poor planning on Google's part, although I don't really hate the update.